İrem UZUN -TDO- Germany has agreed to take in 1,553 migrants stranded on Greek islands after a fire destroyed an overcrowded camp, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Tuesday, in a gesture of solidarity with its fellow European Union member state. Germany will also accept up to 150 unaccompanied minors as asylum seekers and is in the process of taking in 243 children who need treatment and their close family, Seibert added.
More than 12,000 people, mostly asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Africa and Syria, were left without shelter, proper sanitation or access to food after a fire destroyed the Moria migrant camp on the island of Lesbos last week. Merkel was then backed by the third coalition partner, the Social Democrats (SPD), whose leader had previously called for the country to take up thousands of migrants from Greece.
International Organization for Migration (IOM) called on the EU to urgently support the immediate shelter and care of the displaced migrants and refugees in Greece and to set up longer-term solutions rooted in European solidarity. "While the priority right now is to address the immediate needs of migrants and refugees in Lesbos, more sustainable solutions are needed," IOM Director General Antonio Vitorino said in a statement. "The are many other children and families in need of this lifeline, and we urge more states to come forward and support ongoing efforts to de-congest the island and assist Greece," he added.